Tag: Fighting Spirit

Game 55: Takeaways from Yankees vs. Padres

Adam Hunger

In a mere 2:39, the Yankees walk away with a clinical and dominant win this afternoon over the San Diego Padres by a score of 7-0. They featured fantastic pitching, trademark power and some flashy defense to earn the series win. It is the 8th straight series win for the Bombers. Let’s get right into the takeaways.

1.Welcome Back Big Maple: That was an impressive return for James Paxton. It would be fair to say Paxton could have some rust after spending 26 days on the IL, especially considering the role of the lower body in pitching mechanics, but that was clearly not the case today. Armed with a fastball consistently sitting between 95-97 MPH and a frightful curve, Paxton opened up the game with two strikeouts en route to a line of 4IP, 0H, 2BB, 7K. Going into the game aware of his 70-75 pitch limit and looking to drive his pitches, Paxton was aggressive in the inner third of the zone to both righties and lefties. That aggressiveness led to a lot of swing and misses in a short amount of time. As Friend of the Blog Katie Sharp tweets:

Paxton appears to be a big fan of pitching in Yankee Stadium. Outside of his issue with the clay on the pitcher’s mound, he has been dominant in his home starts this year. YSIII looks favorably upon lefties and James is taking advantage. We get this nugget from ESPN’s Coley Harvey:

All of us will take that for a couple more seasons. Boone took Paxton out after 66 pitches and four innings, which one could argue was a bit premature, but you want to protect one of your top starters so it makes sense. In any case, it was a nice return for Big Maple.

2. The Bronx Bombers Strike Again: Padres rookie pitcher Chris Paddack entered today’s start allowing only 28 hits, 4 of them homers, over the course of 51.1 innings. Paddack features a low to mid 90s fastball with strong command and a plus change. He is in the 80th percentile or above in K%, hard hit% and exit velocity. Paddack has been a stud in 2019. He had yet to give up a home run to a right handed batter this season. So naturally, the Yankees open up the bottom of the first inning with this:

And then they did this:

And followed that up a little later with one of these:

It feels like almost every game this team does something new to impress you. They’re beating up on mediocre to bad pitching (last night notwithstanding) and competing against strong pitching with successful results.

Beyond the power, the Yankees are scoring runs in multiple manners. In the fifth inning, after DJLM beat out a potential double play at second base and advanced to third on a Gleyber single, Gardner knocked him in with a sacrifice fly. Then in the 6th inning, Cameron Maybin singled, stole two bases and scored on a throwing error from Austin Hedges. It’s great to see these guys looking for every way possible to put pressure on the defense and score cheap runs. Home runs will always be the best, but supplementing them with manufactured runs makes an offense relentless.

3. Bullpen Concerns For The Boston Series: We knew coming into today the team wasn’t going to get much length from James Paxton due to his pitch count limit. The bullpen is obviously taxed. Even if you remove the games where the team goes with an opener, the pen has taken up the majority of the innings over a long stretch of time. This may come to a head during the Boston series. Boone has done a pretty good job of managing innings for his top relievers lately, but we all know how these Boston series go. Every game is treated like Game 7 of the playoffs and I don’t think Boone will go with the likes of Joe Harvey many times this weekend. It is imperative that J.A. Happ and Domingo Germán give the team length in their starts. They will have at least one bullpen game and who knows what CC will be able to provide if he starts Sunday. Boone and Rothschild are going to have to work some magic with the pen this weekend.

4. The Yankees Are Flat Out Good: When all of the injuries were hitting the team there was understandable frustration and despair. Fortunately, the team didn’t believe that and kept competing. They won a bunch of games, but some throughout the sport were wondering when the other shoe was going to drop. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Take a look at this from James Smyth of the YES Network:

Yeah, this team is good.

5. Big Boy Energy: I couldn’t find a .gif of Luke Voit’s triple before writing this. Someone please do us all a favor and drop it in the comments. We all need to celebrate that big boy energy rumbling around second base.

This is a nice way to head into the big series this weekend. The Yankees have a great chance to create significant distance between them and the Red Sox. Yes, there is plenty of season left to play, but why not make it as tough for them as possible. Tomorrow’s match up is J.A. Happ versus Chris Sale. I know what all of you are thinking, but that’s why they play the games. Have a great night everyone.

Game 54: Takeaways from Yankees vs. Padres

Julio Cortez, AP Photo

Well, that was unfortunate. A rainy night in the Bronx ended in defeat (on an overturned call, no less) as the Yankees dropped Tuesday’s game 5-4. You can’t win them all, but an annoying loss is annoying.

Anyway, here at Views from 314ft we’re going to approach game recaps a bit differently. After each game, we’ll provide takeaways to dive a little deeper into the pivotal matchups, key moments, and overall trends on display each night.

1. Masahiro Tanaka Always Grinds: Yikes was that a bad start to the game. A rare error by LeMaheiu was followed by a single from Franmil Reyes, who scored on a single by Manny Machado. Eric Hosmer promptly deposited an 88mph Tanaka sinker (he only threw 12 all night, a sign that he still doesn’t have a great feel for the pitch) left over the middle of the plate to center. Before recording an out, the Yanks were down 4-0. Not great! Take a look at this location:

Some of that first inning was unlucky for Tanaka, but there’s nothing unlucky about that pitch: over-the-plate, no bite, and basically begging to be crushed. Hosmer didn’t miss it, to his credit, but yikes.

Tanaka been tagged for 4 runs and threw 30 pitches, which is the last thing the Yankees needed. The bullpen is taxed—Britton, Kahnle and Chapman have each pitched 7 times in the last 13 days and Ottavino 6 times—and really need some blowouts, length from their starters, or, preferably, both.

But to Tanaka’s credit, he settled in and only allowed 1 run across the next five innings, needing only 70 pitches to do so. The first inning was a disaster, but Tanaka settled in, gave a little length, and gave the Yanks a shot. His final line: 6 innings, 9 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 7 Ks and 2 walks. Not bad considering the start.

2. Gary Sanchez is a Machine: That’s now 17 home runs for The Kraken, who is well on his way to reminding skeptical fans and opposing teams why the Yanks always stuck by him last year during his struggles. I mean, take a look at this:

Just beautiful, really. Beautiful. Anyway, Gary has now hit 5 home runs in his last 8 games and is hitting a home run every 8 at-bats, leading the league. That’ll do! As Friend of the Blog Katie Sharp noted, few players hit the ball harder than Gary:

That Gary, he sure is scary.

3. DJ LeMahieu Continues to Impress: DJLM came into tonight hitting .316/.364/.409 (113 wRC+), and has been one of the most steadily productive players in the Yanks lineup (not to mention his defense, error tonight notwithstanding). He added a one-out single in the bottom of the 7th to score Kendrys Morales and Thairo Estrada, tightening a 5-1 deficit to 5-3. Again, as Katie Sharp noted, LeMahieu has consistently hit with runners in scoring position this year:

A whole lot of Yankee fans are eating crow about DJLM right about now, I think, though I’m sure everyone is happy to have been wrong.

4. Clint Frazier’s Outfield Defense is a Problem: Jeez, what is going on with Clint Frazier’s outfield defense? I love the dude, I do, but this is getting to the point where it’s untenable. He misplayed another ball in right tonight, diving when he had no chance, and let the ball roll behind him to the wall in the top of the 8th tonight. Frazier came into tonight dead last in baseball in the “Outs Above Average” Statcast category, sporting a -10. That’s 229th out of 229, and nobody else is really close. A lot of this might come with moving to RF from LF—remember, we’ve seen Gardner struggle making this move, and Gardner’s a better defender than Clint—but still, something’s gotta give here. Get well soon, Aaron and Giancarlo (both of whom are better defenders than they’re ever given credit).

5. Bullpen Management: The above note about the bullpen being taxed is surely the reason here, but gosh, doesn’t it feel like Aaron Boone never uses his big guys in tie games or when the Yanks are down by a run or two? I’ll have to do some actual research on this (imagine that!) to draw any conclusions, but that is certainly how it feels. Again, tonight’s excusable given the recent workload and upcoming schedule, but still. Joe Harvey didn’t look good in the 8th, after the Yanks closed the gap to 1 run, and Boone didn’t get anyone loose in the bullpen until the bases were loaded. Cessa came in right away and got out of the jam, so no harm no foul. Just an observation, and perhaps not a fair one.

6. The Yankees Never Quit: Finally, these Yanks just never, ever quit. Down 5-1 as the skies opened up late in the game, with a day game tomorrow no less, you’d almost forgive the Yanks for mailing the rest of the game in. But they didn’t, and they never do. They brought the tying run up to the plate in the bottom of the 7th and managed to close the gap to one and had the winning run up to bat in the 9th before DJLM’s double play. That’s twice now in the last three days that the Yanks have mounted a comeback to fall just short, but what’s important here is that they’re never out of a game. Fightin’ Spirit, or something.

Anyway, the Yanks and Padres will match up tomorrow afternoon to conclude this three-game set. James Paxton (!) will take the mound against Chris Paddack in the Bronx tomorrow at 1:05 in a game you probably won’t want to miss if you can help it. It’ll be nice to see Paxton back, and Paddack is electric. It should be a fun one.

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